Dale C. S. Destin |
The November 2016 to April 2017 climate outlooks are now available for Antigua and Barbuda. Our worst meteorological (Met) drought on record ended in September and remains that way. Moderate or worse Met drought is unlikely for the foreseeable future. It is, however, unclear what will happen with respect to rainfall over the next six months as there are equal chances of below, near or above normal rainfall. Meanwhile, warmer than normal mean temperature is likely to continue.
The Met and agrometeorological (AgMet) droughts remain ended, notwithstanding near record low rainfall for October. However, the hydrological (Hydro) and socioeconomic (SE) droughts continue at slight levels or worse. The island-average of 46.2 mm (1.82 in) for October 2016 is the fourth lowest on record dating back to, at least, 1928 and the lowest since October 2000.
Looking forward – unfortunately there is no decisive information on what can be expected rainfall-wise. There are equal chances of below, near or above normal rainfall for November-January (NDJ), February-April (FMA) and November-April. Given these and other forecasts, particularly the drought forecast, moderate or worse Met and AgMet droughts are unlikely. Meanwhile, the Hydro and SE droughts are not expected to undergo sustained worsening. The drought watches have been dropped.
The cold phase of El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) – La Nina is evident although an episode cannot yet be declared. Further, the criteria and episode – five overlapping “seasons” of La Nina temperatures is unlikely to be met.
If you are in our part of the world – the Caribbean, a La Nina would be more than welcome. However, it is coming a bit late as the greatest positive impact on our rainfall occurs during the wet season, which will come to a close at the end of December.
Precipitation and temperature
Year-to-date, the rainfall for Antigua is almost one-and-a-half times more than all the rainfall for 2015. Further, it is the wettest January-October since 2013. Notwithstanding, we are still over 5 inches in the “red” relative to the long-term average of 952.8 mm (37.51 in).
Notwithstanding the low rainfall for October, there has been a general up-tick in rainfall since August. It is difficult to say at this time what can be expected to the upcoming months what quantity we will get as we have no climate signal. However, we are unlikely to have below normal rainfall.
It is now almost certain that Antigua will have near normal rainfall for 2016 – 1067 to 1321 mm (42 to 52 in). This is doubled the amount for last year – the driest year on record.
For the period November to April, above normal temperature is likely.
The next set of outlooks will be available by December 7, 2016.